1 2 3 57 Previous Next

SAPPHIRE NOW

850 Posts

tweet-bird.gif

 

This blog is a little delayed as it was meant for 2nd week of this month, but even holidays intervene with Twitter streams I found out.

 

So, a month has gone by since the biggest SAP event of the year came to an end, in true Bon Jovi style. I’m talking about SAPPHIRE NOW, just in case someone had the Bon Jovi reference fly over their head, missed the title or my excessive use of tags in this post.

 

Shortly after the completion of the event I had a round-up on Twitter. I wanted 140 letter key takeaways from some of the voices in the SAP ecosystem and reached out to eight individuals I personally enjoy following on various social platforms. If you have any active interest in SAP commentary or SCN, you will likely know all eight. Not surprisingly I got very similar answers from all of them, as the core messages were loud.

 

I had also planned to follow up with the same guys a month after the event, to check if they had seen anything develop in the world of SAP which changed or provided additional commentary to their initial takeaways. I’m off the opinion that letting things settle and then provide commentary, when everyone’s had their dessert coffee, is a better approach than be jubilant when the starters are served. So here goes,

 

 

Initial key takeaway

4 weeks after SAPPHIRENOW

Jon Reed

@jonerp

Simplicity - worthy aspiration but way harder than it looks - covers everything from UX to install to service, pricing and support

No big changes in the last month.

 

Content by Jon I recommend:

http://diginomica.com/2014/06/06/sapphire-wrap/

A barroom conversation about SAP and the Cloud – but without the noise and the drinks

Tammy Powlas

@tpowlas

SAP implification, ASUG2014

sharing customer stories, Captsully keynote inspiration, BI client convergence

No commentary so far or changes. [Tammy if you’re reading this, let me know if you got anything to add? ]

Timo Elliott

@timoelliott

SAP HANA has gone from being an exotic tool for speed to "simply" the default platform for new apps and analytics

We said "the way forward is simple" -- not "easy" -- but we're here to help.

 

Content by Timo I recommend:

The Way Forward is Simple | Business Analytics

Ray Wang

@rwang0

Simplification must cover product roadmap, services, pricing, customer experience, and user experience

Looking to get an update post put up on it. (I’ll link to it when published).

 

Even though this falls a bit outside of the ‘4 weeks after theme’ I recommend Ray’s piece from the 30th May: http://blog.softwareinsider.org/2014/05/30/event-report-answers-to-the-top-12-questions-about-sap-ahead-of-sapphirenow-a…

Jarret Pazahanick

@SAP_Jarret

SAP said the word "simple" 100's of times but didn't explain how customers are really going to get the "simplicity"

SAP screamed "simple" from the rooftops at Sapphire but I am still waiting to hear more about the realistic "how" for customers.

Steve Rumsby

@steverumsby

The future is Simple HANA. But how you get there from here isn't quite clear yet...:-)

Pretty much the same. SAP are selling a simple future, but now they really need to simplify the journey. Harder problem!

 

Content by Steve I recommend: SAP Screen Personas at SapphireNOW

Henrik Wagner

@henrikwagner73

Virtual VMware HANA Prod support will accelerate adoption of HANA & give clients & SP partners flexible deployment options

Incredible to see the positive feedback from HANA clients since Sapphire leveraging VMware to build consolidated infrastructure.

 

Content by Henrik I recommend:

Breaking new boundaries of Innovation with DSSD | Henrik Wagner

Martin Gillet

@mgillet

Fiori Free. Willingness to adopt change & simplify. Great Avgeek keynote. Fruitful encounters & workshops

I'll stand by my first feedback for now. Thanks.

 

I think Henrik’s point on “more options to deploy HANA the better” is a good one. I believe many SAP customers got HANA at some point on their roadmap now, but it’s imperative for SAP to give customers as many ways to use and adopt the HANA platform as possible. Higher and quicker adoption needs to be present before SAP can achieve many of their longer term strategic goals and have customers “Run Simple”.

 

Besides the captures above I would also like to recommend you to Craig Powers (@TheCraigPowers) two days wrap up over at ASUG News as it’s quite enjoyable reading. I would also refer to Benjamin Wilk post with a whole foray of links to SAP Support blogs and videos, pretty useful repository.


Finally, as you rarely get anything for free from SAP i.e. Fiori and Personas, I wanted to invite everyone to head over to Bob Caswell’s blog to get some guidelines on how to get started and take advantage of these UX products.

This year, I left SAP’s SAPPHIRE NOW conference inspired and motivated. The speakers’ stories were generous with insights – full of compelling themes to ponder. I realized that across the many sectors of the energy and resources industry sector, a common connecting thread was evident: In today’s rapidly changing environment, what keeps companies ahead directly links with how well they embrace technological changes and apply them to their business processes. The companies that lead are the ones that face change head-on, demonstrating their ability to evolve by applying new innovations that worked for their particular business models.
As we look toward the future, these are companies worth emulating. 
Here are some particular conference highlights that stood out to me:
Jay Marqua, CIO of Vantage Energy Services, speaks about his company’s vision to connect remote, offshore drilling “just like an office environment.” He began spearheading changes by consolidating structures and abolishing legacy systems.  By doing so, he tremendously saved in the total cost of ownership in training, while simplifying the process and making the system more user friendly. Using solutions from SAP, he was able to push total functionality to remote areas, transforming IT processes.
Lionel Jellins, ExxonMobil manager of global IT ventures and operations, has high standards for invoice efficiency and foresees the day when all of his suppliers will electronically communicate – even the doughnut person. He’s made clear headway, considering that ExxonMobil turns over 5.1 million invoices a year and 3.2 million of those are now electronic. Jellins is aiming to cut that remaining 1.9 million to zero. Since most of his clients interact only with procurement professionals via a computer screen, Jellins believes that if companies provide the right functional intuitive computer screens, these professionals will have a higher impression of the organization. He speaks about how integrating solutions from SAP into the organization is a key part of his company’s continued success to be an indispensable world-class procurement organization.
Laura Tibodeau, chief information officer, Americas Styrenics LLC, led a complete rebirth of her IT department using SAP HANA, but she admits that her company had some reservations about SAP’s initial claims, especially since Americas Styrenics was a smaller company, in which speed was not a part of the decision-making process, nor was using Big Data. However, the fact that SAP HANA promised no latency made a strong impact on her decision, as eliminating the company’s parallel reporting structure ultimately saved it time and money. This change reduced the need for additional IT support, putting the power of reporting into the hands of business users. Furthermore, SAP HANA provided the company with dashboard analytics, minimized the number of interfaces, and gave it an inside look at costs it never saw before. Tibodeau shares that this ability to intimately understand her company’s data is illuminating and game-changing – raising her company to the next level.
Gary Wilson, senior vice president from NIBCO Inc., has a longstanding understanding of and history with SAP. But the recession spurred the need for more operational efficiencies and for better, more informed decisions in order for his company to grow profitably. With Wilson’s leadership and solutions from SAP, the $500 million company went from focusing on order management and accounting to business intelligence and planning. While the former strategy reduced transaction costs, the latter gave the company a far better handle on business decisions, improving inventory turns while reducing costs by crossing processes and maximizing efficiency.
Peter McClure, group CIO for MMG; Rick Watson, general manager for business in Laos; and Michael Conway, head of the product team, speak about their journey to design and develop a platform from SAP for mining in Laos – a complex environment where “there were many rules, but very little compliance.” They discuss how SAP gave them the ability to lead with informational discipline and organization of many company-wide changes and growth by standardizing the business management system, using one system for all MMG Limited operations, and becoming more transparent in business measures. Developing a new system with SAP enabled them to scale quickly and streamline processes. This system gave employees a better understanding of their responsibilities and objectives to drive performance and input information at top speed while seamlessly going from on-premise to off.
Although “change is the only constant,” often companies fear or ignore the signs of transition around them, becoming too comfortable in traditional processes. Slowly, they lag behind, becoming irrelevant with antiquated systems. In an industry where technology evolves faster and faster, it’s critical that leaders look for a way to simplify and streamline their processes in order to remain agile and ready for future innovation. 
Hear more of the keynotes, sessions, and interviews from the SAPPHIRE NOW conference that cover today’s hottest technology topics. Browse the replays now.

HelloAggregate.jpg


When I was sitting in front of my trusted laptop earlier this month with Clayton Christensen and Hasso Plattner (Wiki in case you forgot) bantering away in a SAPPHIRENOW keynote, streaming live into my immediate vicinity, I started thinking. They were talking about aggregates. Aggregates, aggregates and more aggregates. What are aggregates you might ask and rather than assuming you know, let’s get the good old dictionary out,


verb

/ˈagrɪgeɪt/

To form or group elements or data into a class or cluster.

 

So, now that everyone is clear on that, back to the spiel. Clay and Hasso were talking about aggregates, not just the data aggregates underlying business processes but aggregates as a general concept. I realised during this session that I'm an aggregate myself, a very refined and comprehensive aggregate, but an aggregate none-the-less. Looking at it from this angle, I found another definition I rather prefer,


noun

/ˈagrɪgət/

a material or structure formed from a mass of fragments orparticles loosely compacted together.


I think that’s me, probably add “…loosely compacted together and sprinkled with childhood, parenting, teenage-ism (it should be an ism), adulthood, career, beer, wife, expectations…” and hundreds of other “fragments” life has presented me with. The list really goes on. But at the end of the day, I'm an aggregate.


What I'm getting at here is we, Homo sapiens, are heading into an era where we can be read as data by our surroundings, creating a new day-to-day experience, and in many ways a new evolutionary step. We will get to a point where elements of our persona will be fully digitalised and our external environment will “intelligently” engage with us, in the immediate term, through wearable technology and handheld devices. This will very like include implants down the line.

 

humanbrain.jpg

 

“So, if I’m an aggregate”, I asked myself, what does that mean in the world to come of high-performance powered platforms, interlinked every-things and the life of a 21st century human being?

 

  • Professional life and career: Well, in theory in some future setting you’d probably have enough processing power, the “Hans” data aggregate and a way to visualise it in some beautiful dashboard and benchmark me perfectly up against any job function, potential career paths and estimate when I might leave a company.
  • Healthcare and the good old GP’s office: Old news, already happening SAP HANA fighting cancer. This is just the start though, likelihood is they’ll use the “Hans” data aggregate from the onset of birth or embryo state and create a private medical plan from day one to cater to any potential heart problems, assorted rashes or hiccups. 
  • Personal life and interests: I finally see the coming of a proper, life-companion data aggregation platform that can basically read my mind and ONLY send me things that I’d find interesting. No more candy crush invites, no more wasting hours finding that perfect restaurant and I’ll be informed well in advance about the next Prince concert so I can actually get tickets for once.


The aggregate concept is manifold and I’m looking to do another post, maybe more as it’s intriguing, on how I see this theme resonate with certain elements of project delivery methodologies and how we go about IT projects. However, for now, I'm keen to have a chat about it as it's a fascinating topic and philosophically loaded with questions and concerns!

 

I personally find it fascinating being an aggregate, the fact we will have the opportunity to align our day-to-day existence with a personalised data-set of interests, in which relevant information will come to you rather than spending hours researching, Googling and waiting, cannot come soon enough. I want to be told if a coffee shop 5 minutes down the road got the perfect coffee for me based on my taste in chemical compositions, particular roasts and interest in Fairtrade.

By this time, there have been already many blogs, many discussions around what we saw and heard in the SapphireNow 2014 in Orlando. But I wanted to reflect a little to understand what all of these information we got during this 3 day conference really translates into.

 

SapphireNow has a unique ambiance, with the focus on the customers, on sharing the latest products in SAP, on showcasing the business results which various clients have achieved through application of these latest product innovation from SAP. For the partners, its about showing off the strengths of different product and service offering. With 250 odd partners in the show floor which lived up to its name, it was a lot of showbiz and glitz, with everything in between magic shows, simulation games to goodies to lotteries – everyone vying for attention. There are too many things to reflect on but I have, for this blog, concentrated on the impact of  the mantra “Simplify”.

 

While SAP CEO Bill McDermott talked about the growing problem of IT complexity in the client business today and the solution of making it all
simple through the various technology like SAP HANA, like cloud, I was thinking of the complexity of such transformations. The concept of system simplification has been there in various avatars and there have been some typical challenges.

 

The clients need to go through a transformation project in order to simplify their IT landscape, their business applications and really free up the resources and bring down, as Bill mentioned , the cost the IT maintenance from its average 72% , to some number, drastic enough to make this investment of the
transformation worth it. So, what is that magic figure? The system simplification is often driven by IT and their direct business benefit is less obvious. If there is a transformation project which brings down the maintenance cost from 70% to 60-65% - add to that the cost of the project, whether or not this provides motivation enough for such a project?

 

Application owners may want to hold on to complexities as they feel that their business requirements are complex and their IT solutions are special and hence the simple solutions may not work out for them. So, there is an element of change management here and the Enterprise architect groups should get the application managers to see the value, the need to simplify and provide the options to do so.

 

Business also needs to be convinced that this transformation will pave the path for them to innovate, to have the ability to do analysis of any kind of data in real time using visualizing tools which are appealing yet easy to manipulate, in the meantime, no disruption to their business processes.

 

For all the above points, it really requires a concrete vision about the end state of the IT landscape. At this juncture, is it easy to have a long term vision for the IT landscape? The era where the EA could exactly envisage the landscape 5 years down the line is no longer there. Traditionally this vision of the end-state enterprise architecture takes care of the challenges of changing business need through flexibility, scalability. It can somewhat take into account evolving
technology, evolving SAP applications .

 

But how to take care of disruptive innovations? The radical change that can be effected in the standard SAP business applications like ERP on HANA database is evident from the Smart Financials on HANA release (April 2014). Hasso Plattner mentioned the same in his keynote – how SAP HANA simplifies the technical solution, bringing in dramatic reduction in tables and views.

 

Picture1.jpg

  Figure 1 – Source SAP

 

Simplifying the landscape to enable business users tremendously using making predictive analytics or any analytics with vastly improved visualization, to be able to harness the powers of social media, is a compelling enough reason for simplifying Business warehouse or EDW landscape but even then the cost factor, the time to enable these options is a large contributor to the decision. Some companies have adopted BW on HANA in 3 months while others have actually done process consolidation and simplification and effected such a migration to BW on HANA in 9 months. But today’s trend shows, because of the immediate impact Analytics has on corporate decisions, on even operational decision, marketing strategies, and also because the business transaction systems are not impacted, the adoption is much faster in this area

 

However, there are also other large enterprises who have been front-runners in adopting then cutting edge technology, who are now taking the giant leap of faith to adopt the disruptive technologies to simplify their ERP landscape. Many others are waiting to see the result of such adoptions before they decide on their course of action.

 

While HANA can be tagged as a disruptive innovation, cloud is something which has been there for some time now. But its adoption has really picked up in the last few years in terms of moving the infrastructure on cloud or platform as service whereas software as a service has gained a lot of momentum. While clients tend to move their development /sandbox/ testing environments readily on cloud, the move to getting their production boxes on cloud is slower.

The challenges of such situation is, apart from the longer term cost equalization, network bandwidth, regulatory norms related, security concerns (some times

unfounded), end to end testing, etcetera.

But more and more CIOs are considering putting their entire landscape on cloud, while some have done it already.

 

It cannot be one solution fit all kind of a situation when it comes to cloud and hybrid solutions with integration with on premise and on cloud systems have
become the norm.

 

From the User experience simplification point of view, while SAP Fiori vastly improves the look and feel of the Business suite transactions (300 odd applications have been created so far, as Bill mentioned), its still some way to go till this UI simplification is effective, with Personas supporting the classic dynpro screens currently. The simplification of the various kind of BO reports is also desirable while the UEx has been vastly improved but still there are too many options.

 

I must say that Bill McDermot’s first announcement that there would be no additional licenses for Fiori but its included now in the SAP Enterprise license was greeted with enthusiasm from the audience and am sure there must be quite some happy tweets or discussions around this announcement.

 

Some parting thoughts.

 

For the SIs , the challenge is, apart from adoption of all the new technology (which has always been there).  the changing business content of Business suite and the paradigm shift in the underlying principal, as mentioned by Hasso Plattner in his keynote, that all the data should be available at the lowest granularity while its the business user’s prerogative to do the report modeling on top of that data.

  

The role of SAP and corresponding challenge, in this scheme of “simplify” is enormous :

  • Be it simplifying their product portfolio
  • Be it in terms of adopting their millions of line of code base in lines of the above

 

At the same time, I am wondering whether a version of this simplified solution will also be available for any other database using the in-memory paradigm, since otherwise, from business application point of view – it restricts the customers to SAP’s HANA database and prevents those on other databases from making use of SAP’s simplified business applications – the evolving Business suite.


Disclaimer : This blog contains the personal opinions/thoughts of the author.

SAP has grown big with Finance after it all started with its first financial accounting system back in 1973. Finance has been the core of all enterprise, resource and planning systems that followed in the years and decades since then.
At SAPPHIRE NOW 2014, it was time for Finance to take center stage again!

 

Finance at the center of SAP keynotes

 

Bill McDermott unveiled SAP Simple Finance in his keynote – a comprehensive set of Finance solutions offered as a managed service in the SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud.  “Now it’s time for SAP to make sophisticated Financials simple,” Bill said. “SAP Simple Finance, powered by SAP HANA, is another SAP game changer for the business software industry.” Indeed it is.

SAPPHIRENOW-2014-Keynote-Bill-600.jpg

Watch the replay (relevant timestamp 52:10).

 

Finance was literally everywhere during the second keynote. Yes, Prof. Clayton M. Christensen ("The Innovator's Dilemma") was brilliant, although he didn't say much about Finance. Even more so, others did. Hasso Plattner went into the details of how a simplified financials system (namely the financials add-on for SAP Business Suite powered by SAP HANA, which again, is the core of SAP Simple Finance) leads to a radical change by bringing disruptive innovation and sustainable innovation. Helen Arnold, newly appointed SAP CIO, followed with a demo of SAP Accounting powered by SAP HANA in action along with an SAP Fiori dashboard. Bernd Leukert and Luka Mucic, joined in a conversation with Dennis Hickey (CFO of Colgate-Palmolive), had more to say about the power of SAP HANA and Finance also.

 

SAPPHIRENOW-2014-Keynote-Hasso-600-v2.jpg

Watch the replay (most relevant Finance-related timestamps: 06:32, 47:25, 1:40:20, 2:10:15).

 

 

Finance in other theater replays

 

More than 20 theater presentation replays are available which relate to SAP solutions for Finance (here or on this site).

 

In particular, I recommend watching:

 

 

Finance on YouTube

 

 

Finance in related blogs

 

 

Now that you may have an (almost) complete picture of how Finance took center stage at SAPPHIRE NOW 2014, I hope you are all set for entering the new future of Finance.

First impressions are critical, and this year the simplified and open layout of the show floor set the stage.  Overwhelming complexity was a thing of the past. Everything was easily found; the open layout, the broadcast of keynote sessions across all theaters and easy navigation across the show floor enabled a simplified consumption of the huge amount of information that was offered again at SAPPIRE 2014.

Sit down, relax and have a cappuccino - very unusual for “mega-events” with thousands of participants - and downtown provided the space where customers, partners and SAP employees took a break, while still being in the middle of things.

With the event "out-of-the-way", business took center stage. Over 15 High Tech customers presented in various settings, sharing their experience with peers in the industry. 200+ participants at the Discrete Evening reception, many more High Tech presentations, demos, micro forums and industry expert support for customer meetings provided plenty of opportunity for networking and knowledge sharing.

 

And here are a few of the high tech sessions that are available for replay:

 

Bentley Systems – Better customer engagement with SAP Cloud for Sales.Bentley Systems.jpg

Hear from executives at AkzoNobel and Bentley Systems how they are using the SAP Cloud for Sales solution to redefine customer engagement with advanced relationship management, sales intelligence, and enterprise mobility so they can understand, engage, and win in their markets.

 

Varian Medical Systems – Better maintenance procedures with 3D visualizations.Varian Medical.jpg

See how Varian Medical Systems, a leading manufacturer of medical devices for cancer therapy, models and predicts machine states by combining signals from its TrueBeam machines with SAP Lumira software.

 

 

Lexmark – Power Up Productivity with New Business Models and Mobile Solutions.Lexmark.jpg

Give your employees access to the right information at the exact moment it is needed. Learn from Lexmark International Inc. how
linking structured data with unstructured content can provide a complete
picture for timely, responsive, and actionable decision making.

 

Internet of Things– Join Bosch and SK Solutions in this customer innovation showcase.InternetOfThings.jpg

Join this session to learn how SAP customers Bosch and SK Solutions are benefiting from the Internet of Things. We’ll go live around the world to meet users in live scenarios from our studio and see how IoT is transforming business –from wearables in action on a manufacturing floor to 60-story cranes avoiding collisions.

 

 

 

EBay – Target Business-Critical Processes for TransformationeBay.jpg

Create value by putting breakthrough in-memory computing technology to work in crucial areas of your business. Hear how eBay Inc. used the SAP HANA platform to transform its marketplace, optimizing the buyer and seller experience. Learn best practices for successfully implementing the SAP HANA platform to simplify operations and transform business.

 

 

 

Attendees of SAPPHIRE NOW Orlando 2014 will surely have noticed an inordinate number of young people scurrying about the show floor of the convention center. It may have been a surprising sight at an event which has historically catered to customers, partners, and scores of tech industry professionals, but as veteran SAP-watchers may have gleaned, SAP is embracing the Millennial generation in a big way.

 

Some of the young people at the event were university students who were acting as social media reporters, sharing their views and impressions of SAPPHIRE NOW and the technologies they discovered on site. Many of these students are considering careers in the tech sector, so SAP wants to cement the connection with these young people. Smart move, considering this generation represents the potential future workforce of SAP.

 

To help get the future SAP workforce up to speed while they’re still in university, SAP Education and SAP University Alliances recently introduced a version of its cloud-based SAP Learning Hub offering designed especially for students to incorporate the study of SAP solutions into their university coursework. The new student edition of SAP Learning Hub offers a comprehensive library of electronic content that universities can provide to students for self-study covering close to 150 SAP solutions.

 

The student edition of SAP Learning Hub was a key part of SAP University Alliance's program at SAPPHIRE NOW, and the two SAP leaders behind this offering were on hand at the event. Watch this brief interview with Markus Schwarz, SVP & Global Head of SAP Education and Ann Rosenberg, VP & Global Head of SAP University Alliances, to find out more about how students and faculty alike responding to SAP Learning Hub, student edition.

 

 

Related Resources

If you attended Bill McDermott’s keynote (or watched the replay) at SAPPHIRE NOW 2014 in Orlando, you were introduced to three special guests. Polyglot Tim Doner, Ayna Agarwal of She++ and DJ Focus -Kelvin Doe attended and spoke during the opening keynote. These weren’t the usual speakers for an enterprise software event. They were young, entrepreneurial and following their passions to change the world.

 

Later that day, I was honored to have all three of them join me for a Design Thinking-inspired session at the SAP Services Lounge. The session challenge they attended was “How to make the world better with HANA”. It was really impressive how quickly they were able to feel comfortable and jump in with both feet. Our graphic recorder Heather Willems from @imagethink captured the story in the picture below.

 

1_SAP_HANA_ImageThink_060314-X3.jpg

 

Framing Exercise

 

We started with a brief introduction to HANA - thanks to Wesley Mukai for a great 10 minute crash course! As we then developed the initial challenge the group quickly coalesced around a reframed version:

 

How might we enable changes in data consumption that have real world impact?

 

This statement was molded from their initial brain dump that ended up clustered around social awareness/growth, changing data consumption, and a shift of inertia. They wanted to affect change at the brick and mortar/mom and pop level. In essence it was all about leveraging HANA to break down barriers so the data was being consumed at the lowest individual or grassroots level.

 

Ideation

 

Next we used an individual brainstorming exercise to open up the solution space. I asked them to also come up with ideas that were impossible or illegal to spark some potentially different solution possibilities.  Here are a few examples:

 

  • Analyzing brain waves for customized results
  • Speech recognition/simultaneous translation
  • Helping farmers and their communities succeed
  • Managing the global energy grid
  • Detecting landmine distribution patterns

 

Prototyping

 

Ultimately the team prioritized an ‘idea’ for prototyping that blended from ideas from each of them. They created a platform for agriculture in developing countries (specifically, Sierra Leone) for sustainable farming at the individual level. By bringing together data on historical climate, productivity, scientific research, from buyers/suppliers/wholesalers/sellers, specific crops and their yields, amongst others. This is all connected at the individual farm level, via channels such as smartphones, to promote ‘social capitalism’ such that both individual farmers and their communities succeed.

 

Insert video:

 

Validation

 

The group presented their prototype for validation. The feedback for what was accomplished in a short 75 minutes was extremely positive. A representative from BASF validated the prototype concept as something that they had been working on for many months. The millennials were also questioned regarding monetization - first thoughts were of leveraging either social clout or a ‘freemium’ model at the outset, followed by adapting the business model to other revenue streams.

 

What did we learn?

 

I saw some interesting parallels between the millennial mindset and the design thinking mindset (more on this in my recent blog). They focused immediately on social and community aspects of the challenge. Doing so demonstrated a higher comfort with empathy for others than I typically see from design thinking participants in the traditional corporate environment. And each of their ideas focused on leveraging the power of technology to bring the granular data and insights to the individual level. For me, design thinking gives a voice to each individual and I felt this somehow coming naturally from our young guests.

 

In the end, it seems to me a company that adopts tenets of design thinking is a great match for the millennial mindset. Could SAP be such a destination?

Katie Moser

UX Buzz at SAPPHIRE NOW

Posted by Katie Moser Jun 17, 2014

Whether you were at SAPPHIRE NOW in Orlando or not, I’m sure you heard the buzz around user experience. From Bill McDermott’s keynote to the Fiori Café to the customer sessions talking about UX, there was definite interest and desire to reinvent the SAP user experience. See the UX highlights from SAPPHIRE NOW below.

 

SAPPHIRE_NOW_Orlando_2014_005_t-e-JPG@900x600.jpg

The Keynote


Bill McDermott announced in his keynote that all customers deserve a “simple, gorgeous user experience with SAP”, that “SAP Fiori is a winner” and ultimately that SAP Fiori UX is now included within underlying licenses of SAP software.


See the press release, customer FAQs and a short video.


Watch the keynote presentation.

 


Fiori Café

FioriCafe_green-screen_2.JPG

 

Attendees could get a caffeine buzz at the Fiori café AND learn all about our user experience strategy, solutions and services. The café, located in Downtown on the SAPPHIRE NOW showfloor, was constantly busy as attendees talked with UX experts and were able to get their photo on a magazine cover.

FioriCafe_12.JPG

 


ScreenPersonas_DemoTheater_6.JPGUX in the Platform & Technology Campus

User experience was a hot topic in the Platform & Technology Campus. At first, attendees wanted to know what SAP Fiori UX was and then later in the week, there were more technical questions focused on implementation, extensibility and security. Participants also attended packed demo theater and microforum sessions focused on how to create a UX center of excellence, how to increase productivity through personalization with SAP Screen Personas and how to create and extend apps that apply the SAP Fiori UX.

 


Customer Sessions about UX

Nestle_UX_Session_6.JPG

Speakers from Nestle, Unilever and Freescale Semiconductor highlighted their experience with UX and the benefits that a better UX is bringing to their companies. If you missed the sessions, you can watch the replays now:


Personalize and Simplify the User Experience (Nestle)

 

Prioritize User Experience in IT Organizations (Unilever)

 

Elevate the User Experience to Increase Productivity (Freescale)

 

In addition, customers of SAP Business Suite powered by SAP HANA talked about UX in a panel session at SAPPHIRE NOW.



SAPPHIRE_NOW_Orlando_2014_045_t-e-JPG@900x600.jpg


Changing the Game in User Experience


Sam Yen is a familiar face on stage demonstrating simple and powerful software during the SAPPHIRE NOW keynotes. And now, he has been appointed the chief design officer – a clear signal of our commitment and focus on design thinking principles. Watch a video interview with Sam talking about SAP’s ambitious effort to ensure customer success and delight end users.

 

Learn more

 

See SAP Fiori UX page on SAP.com.

 

Participate in the SAP UX Community.

 

Read the Twitter feed about #SAPUX.

 

Whether you attended SAPPHIRE NOW 2014 in-person or online, it was apparent that focus has http://fashionscollective.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/141476538.jpgshifted to the millennial generation (aka Gen Y). We are now in a prime position to lead our companies into the next era. The most exciting takeaway for me is that the next wave of innovation requires technology to compete, and who doesn’t love dreaming of the future?

 

Dreams are what make great companies. And who better to act on their dreams than millennials?

 

To demonstrate this year’s focus on Gen Y, here are the top 5 blog posts from SAPPHIRE NOW 2014:

 

1. Open Letter to Millennials, from the floor of #SAPPHIRENOW

 

Cory Coley-Christakos gives some advice to millennials on the following areas:

 

  • Challenge convention in the way we work, lead and organize
  • Cultivate intellectual curiosity, and embrace lifelong learning
  • Stay vigilant – complacency can kill you (literally)
  • Avoid generational stereotypes

 

2. Simplification in 2 Words: Networked Economy and Millennials

 

I actually wrote this blog post right after Bill McDermott’s keynote, and I quickly noticed that the main drivers of the mandate for simplification were Gen Y and the network economy. Millennials demand easy communication, flexibility, and consumer grade user interfaces, while the network economy requires a total re-engineering of processes to make doing business simple.

 

3. Tales of a Vintage Millennial, Part I: Are We All Really So Different?

 

Christina Ramlet talks about what makes millennials tick in the workplace. From what I gathered, she found that what we want is flexibility, connectivity, balance, purpose, knowledge, development. And isn’t that what all generations want?

 

4. Generational Intelligence: Are You Ready for Josh?

 

Jacob Morgan talks about his brother Josh who basically taught himself video and photography on YouTube and discussion forums. He doesn’t know what a cubicle looks like, and he probably wouldn’t be used to receiving 200 e-mails per day. This is the new workforce, and Jacob urges businesses to rethink conventional wisdom.

 

5. Smells Like Teen Spirit: Student Reporters at SAPPHIRE NOW

 

Angela Dunn writes about the fresh new millennial spirit at SAP. Possibly the youngest attendee at SAPPHIRE NOW was 14-year-old Chris Nilson, who together with other GENyouth reps like Noa Sreden attended as part of CSR program. Together with other high school students, they be reported on sports, healthcare and entrepreneurship.

 

http://scn.sap.com/servlet/JiveServlet/showImage/38-108661-467543/photo.JPG

Conclusion

 

It’s safe to say that next year, we will start to see even more millennial leaders emerge. Will you be one of them? If you have any millennials on your team, what are you doing to foster their leadership? (Tweet the last sentence!)

 

For more on millennials, check out all the future of work replays from SAPPHIRE NOW 2014.

Even though Sapphire is now behind us, the sheer excitement here at SAP from seeing our customers on stage sharing their HANA transformation journeys is far from over. In case you weren't able to attend in person, I have assembled below 7 must watch Business Suite on HANA customer sessions that were recorded at the event.


Big thanks to all our customers for joining us in Orlando and sharing their experiences and stories.


 

Burberry

Burrbery.PNG

  • Replacing their existing Oracle platform with SAP Business Suite on HANA
  • Linked SAP HANA to Hadoop as a Big Data platform
  • Simplified their data footprint with retail, wholesale, manufacturing all on one platform: SAP HANA


Mercedes AMG

AMG2.PNG

  • First automotive company to go live with ERP on HANA
  • First company to go live with ERP on HANA using VMware Virtulization in a production environment
  • First company to use ERP on HANA with SAP's Tailored Data Centre Integration


Suzano Group

Suzano.PNG

  • Implemented Business Suite on HANA to meet demand for faster and better information from business users
  • Down time related to their SAP HANA migration was only 6 hours and the stability was flawless
  • Benefits include: reduction in inventory shortfalls, faster stock reassignment and real time inventory visibility

 

 

Hidrovias do Brazil

Hidrovias.PNG

  • 1st company to go live with Business Suite on HANA Enterprise Cloud (HEC) in Latin America
  • Experienced an 10x reduction in database footprint after moving to HEC
  • Expecting a 70% cost saving over 5 years with HEC vs. a traditional on-premise Solution


 

Pacific Drilling

Pacific Drilling.PNG

  • Were part of SAP's ramp up program of SAP Business Suite on HANA last year
  • Moved their Business Suite to run on HANA as a foundation for real time business performance management
  • Using Suite on HANA for Operational Reporting provided them with unlimited real time analytics into the business


Bayer MaterialScience, Kaeser Kompressoren, Mercedes AMG and WarnerbrosPanel.PNG

  • Kaeser Kompressoren moved their CRM on HANA as a foundation for predictive maintenance
  • Bayer MaterialScience went live with CRM on HANA last year to re-engage with their end users
  • Mercedes AMG migrated to ERP on HANA and saw analytic queries go down from 3 days to 15 min
  • Warnerbros moved to CRM on HANA to solve performance issues with significantly large documents on IBM DB2

 

Unilever

Unilever.PNG

  • Compressed 38 Terra bytes of ERP data to 8 Terra bytes in an ERP on HANA proof of concept
  • Successful testing and validation of 11 nodes of a HANA scale out landscape of 30 nodes
  • Currently live with Working Capital Management and Goods and Invoice Receipts Reconciliation HANA Apps

This year's SAPPHIRE was a milestone event for SAP Retail: Retail had a record presence at the conference with over 500+ retailers registered with 200+ of them from North America´and obviously a great global representation.

 

During the conference there were numerous retail customers that spoke in the campus areas such as Jo Ann Fabrics, Luxottica, Tory Burch, Oxford Industries, Hobby Lobby,Big Lots, 99 Cent Only and Target. 13 of our Retail customers hosted meetings on-site to share their experiences with other customers in 40 1:1 meetings, 8 roundtables with a total of 104 companies attending and benefiting from these insights


The session were extremely well attended – 80 Expert table meetings, 250 Theater attendance, 180 demo meetings,  70 micro-forums

I'll give you one example: Customer Activity Repository (CAR) were validated by the attendance at the Demo Theater.  Below is a typical crowd at a Demo Theater in the Industry Campus and on the right is the session on Customer Activity Repository (CAR).  The CAR session was standing room only with people standing four and five deep.

 
  non car.jpg
Average demo theater session at SAPPHIRENOW - designed for a 10-12 people discussion
   
  car.jpg
 
Session on Customer Activity Repository (CAR) for Retail
 
This is a clear validation of SAPs direction in Retail and the innovations brought to market. As Brian Kilcourse of RSR put it after the event:

 

"SAP has made some impressive improvements to its retail offerings, taking advantage of its HANA technology (an in-memory database management system developed by SAP). While there was once a time (not too long ago!) when technology providers were constantly racing to keep up with retailers’ requirements, the relationship between “technology user” and “technology provider” has shifted 180°. Now, there’s a real question of whether or not retailers can absorb what SAP can deliver."

RSR Research » The Candid Voice in Retail Technology Research » SAPPHIRE: Can Retailers Absorb What …

 

If you have missed the event, i encourage you to spend some tome to follow up and reveiw some of the session.

www.sapphirenow.com is your place to go.

With thousands of in-person and online attendees, it is not surprising that SAPPHIRE NOW was a trending topic on social media last week. Twitter was, and still is, buzzing with participants sharing their experiences, quoting SAP leadership and innovative thinkers and discussing the breakthrough technology before them.

 

What were the most tweeted moments of SAPPHIRE NOW?

 

SAP’s bold vision for simplicity was the core message at SAPPHIRE NOW and sparked overwhelming chatter on social media, making it the most tweeted about topic by a long shot. Echoed in every presentation and display, SAP’s new mantra of “#RunSimple” was clear. To help customers “simplify everything to do anything”, SAP announced that SAP Fiori and SAP Screen Personas software will now be included within underlying licenses of SAP software. SAP also unveiled SAP Simple Finance, a set of solutions to bring the simplicity of SAP Cloud powered by SAP HANA to finance departments. If attendees left the event with one takeaway, it was SAP’s commitment to win the war against complexity in IT and business processes.  

 

“SAP has a bold vision for the future of business,” said McDermott. “A simpler world, simpler SAP and simpler customer experience.”

 

In addition to SAP’a “Run Simple” vision and announcements, other top tweeted moments included:

 

  • Capt. Chesley (Sully) Sullenberger’s ASUG keynote. Said by some to be the best keynote they’ve ever seen, Capt. Sully’s presentation on "Leading Your Team to Success” captivated and inspired the audience. Moving a room full of thousands to silence, he described the heroic emergency landing of US Airways Flight 1549 on the Hudson River in January of 2009 and shared leadership lessons that empowered those who listened.
  • The epic discussion between Hasso Plattner and Clayton M. Christensen. On Wednesday June 4, Hasso Plattner was joined on stage by Harvard Business School Prof. Clayton M. Christensen to discuss the future of enterprise applications. The audience was again captivated as they watched two brilliant minds converse on disruptive innovation and technology that is changing the world. Watch it here.
  • Millennials front and center. Kicking off the opening keynote of SAPPHIRE NOW was three extraordinary millennials – yes, I said millennials. These three young leaders, Tim Doner, Kelvin Doe and Ayna Agarwal, come from very different backgrounds and have very different passions, but share the same drive to change the world, and they’ve already started. The audience was in awe of what these three have accomplished at such an early age. The three truly embody the “next greatest generation” that Bill McDermott is so passionate about empowering.
  • The John Bon Jovi concert and comedic performance by Dana CarveyKevin Nealon and Dennis Miller. SAPPHIRE NOW not was all business! Attendees shared some fun and laughs during the Jon Bon Jovi and The Kings of Suburbia concert on Wednesday night and Thursday’s hilarious keynote performance with famous comedians Dana CarveyKevin Nealon and Dennis Miller.

 

These are just a few of the many great moments that were shared on social media by attendees. There were thousands upon thousands of tweets of photos, quotes, insights, and vides from the event. Here are the top ones: Top Tweets from #SAPPHIRENOW 2014.

sapphirenow.jpg


Well, we are living in busy times. And sometimes, we are so busy and tied up in projects that attending a conference is just not an option. Sometimes, we also don´t get approval for the travel budget - even if it´s SAPPHIRE NOW!

Altogether, there were more than 40 sessions focusing on innovation, R&D and product management. My colleagues staffing the expert tables told me that they have been busier than ever before doing presentations, demos and exchanging ideas with our customers.

So, for those of you who could not attend SAPPHIRE NOW in person, I put together some of the highlights for you: customers sharing their experiences with SAP Product Lifecycle Management and SAP Portfolio and Project Management software. You can decide whether you spend 20, 40, or 60 minutes and watch 1, 2 or 3 videos– or maybe more?

Don´t miss the replays of these sessions:

  • Dustin Dickson from JBS / Pilgrim´s pride explains how the company controls cost of quality of meat products using SAP PLM. Watch the video
  • Digant Gupta from Applied Medical sharing his experiences from implementing SAP PLM. Find out how this medical device manufacturer ensures compliance with legal regulations. Watch the replay
  • Pacific Gas & Electric was the first SAP customer who implemented SAP Portfolio and Project Management. Hear Bill dePrater´s exciting story and see how this utilities provider plans and monitors its capital spending. Learn how to ensure appropriate allocation of resources and capital across your enterprise and business networks.Click here

There is much more to explore on the SAPPHIRE NOW website. Maybe you have some time to watch even more.

And, of course, I hope to see you next year onsite in the R&D area.

Those of you who did attend SAPPHIRE NOW, will enjoy these videos, too. It would be great if you could share your thoughts and impressions with our readers by making comments below.

I make no secret that I love developing. My favourite job title is "Chief HR Geek", I adopt others as the need arises, but as a real in the dirt developer, content is always more important to me than flashy styling.

 

That's why I was one of the only attendees at SAPPHIRENow 2014 wearing shorts. It's fricking HOT in Orlando in June, wearing a suit?! Are you kidding me?

 

But it's worth noting that to most businesses in the first instance, flashy styling is worth more than content! BUT - flashy styling with content, that's awesome.

 

Fiori

With the announcement of Fiori being available as part of standard maintenance (yar boo sucks to those companies who've decided to skip SAP maintenance and have a third party do it) there comes the possibility of a double whammy of flashy styling and good underlying content.

 

The demo of a CFO drilling down in real-time to underperforming or problematic areas of the business and analysing why was compelling. I think Robbo has written about this as the killer app for HANA. I think he might be right.

 

But the key thing for a developer here, was the front end that this was achieved with, wasn't a Business Objects add-on, wasn't some WDA functionality. It was SAPUI5 over an OData layer exposed by Gateway.

 

If companies are going to be able to adopt these applications - and more and more of them are coming - there is going to be a clear need to support them.

 

Using tooling to build UI5 apps using ABAP won't cut it

Whilst there are some amazing frameworks out there to help migrate stuck-in-the-mud ABAP developers across to building UI5 app, this does not help when there is a need to extend a standard Fiori app. Developers will need to learn JavaScript (or more properly ECMAScript, but that's just me being pedantic.) If you can't code JavaScript and refuse to learn, start calculating your redundancy payout because that's what you're going to be worth to your company. Alternatively, brush up on your SQL skills - and you can start writing some of the pushdown code for HANA. Either way, ABAP is going to be complementary to either DB manipulation or front-end display, but not a stand-alone skill set.

 

Fiori extension points

Did you know that many (not all!) Fiori apps have built-in extension points? You can use these to substantially alter the behaviour and appearance of the app. But to do so, there is something you should know - guess what? JavaScript!  Whilst the RDE (fingers cross for R to start meaning Rapid in near future) allows for some pretty amazing WYSIWYG modification to apps, the likelihood is that some form of developer intervention will be required. At the very least someone is going to have to figure out if the business requirement can/can't be met using this simple customisation. And what skill set is going to be needed to figure out what those extensions can/can't do? Yep you guessed it, JavaScript.

 

In Summary

For once I'm going to keep to a simple post without the detail that me as a developer I love so much. Because I want to emphasis this message.

the future is fiori.jpg

I'm eventually learning to understand, unless you have flashy styling (Fiori), it doesn't matter how good your content is (HANA) you can't sell it. Combine the two together, and you have something that will change the marketplace and means developers need to change their game.

 

Perhaps if I ever attend SAPPHIRENow again, I'll compromise and wear my jeans.

 

 

(This post was originally posted at www.wombling.com - but don't let that hold you back from tearing it to shreds here.)

 

All opinions are mine and do not necessarily reflect those of my employer, friends, countrymen and the nice people at who make you take off your shoes when you go through security in US airports.

Actions

Filter Blog

By author:
By date:
By tag: